Sudan crisis: Talks stall as military demands barricades removed

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Image copyrightREUTERSImage captionBarricades have been set up across the capital, Khartoum, but the military says they hinder negotiations

Protesters emboldened by Mr Bashir’s downfall have continued to stage a huge sit-in outside military headquarters in the capital, demanding full civilian government//Crimson Tazvinzwa

Talks on moving Sudan towards civilian rule have been suspended for three days by the country’s military leaders, who demand protesters clear roadblocks.

In a televised statement, the Transitional Military Council (TMC) said barricades outside a designated zone in Khartoum should be removed.

The setback comes hours after the TMC and the opposition agreed a three-year transition period to civilian rule.

Shots were fired on Wednesday as soldiers tried to clear barricades.

Protesters in Khartoum said at least nine people were wounded, but that figure could not be verified. Similar violence on Monday left at least six people dead and protesters say those responsible must be held to account.

Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir deposed by army after 30 years Leader facing allegations of genocide is forced out by military after months of protests

Sudan has been run by the military council since long-time President Omar al-Bashir was toppled last month, but it has struggled to return the country to normality.

Protesters emboldened by Mr Bashir’s downfall have continued to stage a huge sit-in outside military headquarters in the capital, demanding full civilian government.

What do the two sides say?

In his televised address, TMC leader Lt-Gen Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman Burhan said talks were being suspended “to help prepare an atmosphere for completing the deal”.

He called on protesters to dismantle roadblocks, open bridges and “stop provoking security forces”.

Earlier, Rashid al-Sayid, a spokesman for the opposition Alliance for Freedom and Change, told AFP news agency: “The military council has told us that the protesters must dismantle the barricades and go back to the sit-in.”

Another opposition leader, Ahmed Rabie, confirmed the talks had stalled, saying the military wanted roads in Khartoum and elsewhere reopened before it returned to the negotiating table.

Image copyrightREUTERSImage captionSome protesters were injured in clashes in Khartoum on Wednesday

What has already been agreed?

At a joint news conference on Tuesday night, TMC spokesman Lt Gen Yasser al-Atta said a deal had been struck for a three-year transition period to civilian administration.

He said a final agreement on power sharing would be signed with the opposition alliance within 24 hours. That would include forming a sovereign council which will rule the country until elections.

Gen Atta said the opposition alliance would have two-thirds of the seats on a 300-member transitional legislative council, while the rest would be taken by other groups.

Earlier, protest movement spokesman Taha Osman said the sides had agreed on the structure of future authorities – a sovereign council, a cabinet and a legislative body.

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